Group Counseling

Group counseling is a type of therapy in which several students meet with a trained therapist(s), often focusing on a common goal. Members learn from others' experiences, receive and give feedback, receive support and learn that they are not alone. Groups offer individuals the opportunity to share personal concerns in a safe, confidential and supportive environment. Research shows it to be as effective as individual counseling, and for some issues, it can be more effective. Students can benefit from group therapy in many ways:
  • Connect with others facing similar issues
  • Learn and practice new skills in a safe space
  • Share experiences and gain perspective from talking with others
  • Improve self-awareness, self-confidence and social skills
  • Enhance acceptance of self and others

Counseling Services at Sindecuse Health Center offers several groups open to current Western Michigan University students. Most groups meet weekly and are open to new participants. Call Counseling Services at (269) 387-1850 if you are interested in participating. You may have a brief pre-screening appointment with a counselor prior to participation in groups that are not drop-in.

Groups offered Spring 2023

Please call (269) 387-1850 to see if a group is active. If participation is low, a group may not continue to the end of the semester.  Groups start the week of Feb. 6.

After Silence 

Wednesdays 2–3:30 p.m. Open Empowerment group for all individuals who have experienced or witnessed physical or sexual violence. Starts Feb. 8.
Facilitated by Melissa Plair, MA, LPC and Grace Orlando, LMSW.

Art Therapy

Mondays 2–3:30 Open Building a foundation for coping skills and growth to managing stress from negative and/or traumatic experiences through art. Starts Feb. 6.
Facilitated by Jessi Ailstock, LPC, ATR—registered art therapist and Danielle Snow.

Beyond Borders

Fridays  2–3:30p.m. Open  An interactive space for all international LGBTQIA+ students to share and discuss their cross-cultural experiences as they relate to attraction, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, relationships, family concerns, and community. Start Feb. 10.
Facilitated by Vanessa Marr, Ph.D, LLMSW.

Emotional Survival Skills

Fridays 10–11:30 a.m. Open Emotional skills crash course. Learn emotional regulation, stress management, and interpersonal relationship skills in a supportive environment. Starts Feb. 10.
Facilitator: Rosemary Andrews, LMSW and Patrick Hanlin, M.Ed, LPC.

Graduate Students of Color Support Group

Fridays 10–11:30 a.m. Open This group offers support to students of color navigating the experience and challenges of graduate school at a predominantly white institution. Start Feb. 10.
Facilitators: Danielle Standish, Ph.D., and Melissa M. Plair, MA, LPC.

Level Up

Fridays 11 a.m–12:30 p.m.  Open  Therapeutic Dungeons and Dragons Group:  Get creative. Build skills. Explore new worlds as well as yourself. Train your dragon. Starts Feb. 10.
Facilitated by Susanne Stefanski, LPC and Nicholas Newman.

Mindful Meditation

Fridays 1011:30 a.m.  Open An experiential mindfulness / meditation group. Starts Feb. 10.
Facilitators: Grace Orlando, LMSW and Kim Berning, LMSW.

When Parents Have Problems

Tuesdays 1011:30 a.m. Open For students struggling with mentally ill and/or addicted parent(s).  Starts Feb. 7.
Facilitators: Abbie Andrzejak, LMSW and Patrick Hanlin, M.Ed, LPC.

Women of Color

Fridays 23:30 p.m. Open All women who identify as a visible minority are invited to join this support group.  Participants will explore the intersection of race, gender, orientation, socioeconomic status, and relationships in a safe and supportive environment.  Starts Feb. 10.
Facilitators: Danielle Standish, Ph.D., and Melissa M. Plair, MA, LPC

Workshops

All workshops facilitated by Kim Berning, LMSW and Abbie Andrzejak, LMSW.

Anxiety Toolbox: How to cope with Anxiety

Wednesdays  2-3 p.m.  Three-session workshop intended to help increase your understanding and knowledge about anxiety and provide you with practical skills to recognize and manage symptoms.
Feb. 8, 15, 22.

Getting Unstuck: How to cope with Depression

Wednesdays  2-3 p.m.  Three-session workshop intended to help increase your understanding and knowledge about depression and provide you with practical skills to recognize and manage symptoms.
March 1, 15, 22.

Anxiety Toolbox: How to cope with Anxiety

Wednesdays  2-3 p.m.  Three-session workshop intended to help increase your understanding and knowledge about anxiety and provide you with practical skills to recognize and manage symptoms.
March 29, April 5, 12.